It is a strange peculiarity among the four canonical gospels that only one of them, the Gospel of Matthew, speaks of the birth of Jesus in relation to the appearance of a star in the east and the Magi. The Gospel of Matthew is also unique in its narrative of the 'flight into Egypt' by the Holy Family. But if these events are historically true, then why are the other Gospels so conspicuously silent on such a crucial and important event in the birth of the Messiah? Could it be that the event was not 'historical' at all but mythical? It has long been believed by scholars that the 'Matthew' Gospel was probably written between 40 and 80 AD in the city of Alexandria in Egypt. Now in Alexandria at the time of the writing of the 'Matthew' Gospel, the celebration of the new day and the new year were not anymore observed at dawn but at sunset to conform with both the Judeo-Christian tradition and Roman traditions of marking such events at sunset.
The celestial imagery, therefore, is that on the 25th December, right after sunset, the three stars of Orion's belt were seen rising in the east as if to 'herald' the coming of the birth-star Sirius, which followed about one hour after. It would be very unlikely that such a powerful celestial sign which was known to denote the 'birth of the divine child' in Egypt since time immemorial would not have been unnoticed by the writer of the 'Matthew' Gospel. It seems evident that the introduction of a new divine child (Jesus) born from the Madonna (Mary) in Egypt and the Graeco-Roman world would benefit greatly by absorbing the older and very powerful mythology of Isis and her star, Sirius.
Thus Isis and the child Horus were metamorphosed into the Madonna and child Jesus, and the star Sirius became the 'Star of the East' which the wise men saw and heralded the birth of Jesus. Much later, three wise men became known as the 'three kings' in Western tradition and, in keeping with stellar symbolism, they also became identified to the three stars of Orion's belt. In his book Star Names: Their Lore and Meaning, the astronomer Richard H. Allen states that in European folklore the three stars in Orion's belt are often called the Magi or the Three Kings. And the Christian mythologist, Alvin Boyd Kuhn wrote:
There is the legend of the 'Three Kings of the Orient' who came on Christmas to adorn the new-born God? from days of old the Three Kings were the three conspicuous stars in the belt of Orion that so easily distinguishes this notable constellation and their title was for long the Three Kings of Orion. They point almost in a direct line to the following Sirius (which) was made in the type of Christ-soul in mankind. (Sirius) is preceded by the Three Kings who anticipate its coming (rising).
Kuhn then proceeds to give a variant of the popular Christmas carol:
"We three kings of Orion are,
bearing gifts we traverse afar,
fields and fountains, moors and mountains,
following yonder star"